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Practice Area

04. Media & Entertainment Law

Practice Area

20.Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice

                                                                             TOPIC 1 FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT



We all give our best to provide good upbringing to our children, despite all our precautions they get influenced by the wrong deeds of people or they themselves start walking on a path of illegal acts having no idea about the dreadful consequences of their actions. Hence by adopting the Beijing Rules, India enacted the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 for such crimes committed by children.  In this Act, the juvenile was defined under Section 2(h) to mean a boy who has not attained the age of 16 years or a girl who has not attained the age of 18 years.  Such a   juvenile   was   entitled   to   various   protections   and   these protections were uniform irrespective of the nature of the crime committed.

But with passage of time and witnessing the nature of crimes committed by children The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (hereinafter referred   to   as   the   Act   of   2000)   repealed   the   Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 bringing changes in the said act.  Under the Act of 2000 a juvenile or child was defined to mean a person who had not completed 18 years of age. Even   a   juvenile   in   conflict   with   law   was   defined   to   mean   a juvenile who was alleged to have committed an offence.

Since, there was no clarity with regard to the date on which the age was to be determined, the definition of juvenile in conflict with law was   amended   and  the   juvenile   in  conflict   with   law   has   been defined to mean a juvenile who is alleged to have committed an offence and has not completed 18th year of age as on the day of commission of the offence.

But an unfortunate incident of rape and murder of a young girl (given the identity ‘Nirbhaya’) took place in Delhi in December 2012 (Mukesh v. State (NCT of Delhi). The entire nation heard the cries of despair of Nirbhaya. The case that jolted India and what was more stupefying was that one of the offender was also a juvenile (attaining an age of 17 years old) hence, witnessing the said heinous crime committed by a juvenileled to a call from society to re­visit the law and some sections of society felt that the word ‘juvenile’ had been given a very wide meaning and juveniles have been dealt with leniently.

The Delhi gang-rape case brought numerous changes in the Indian criminal justice system. In the case of Nirbhaya a juvenile also Indulge in the same transaction, he was the same abomination to commit the offence although due to juvenile procedure he was being released, thereafter, throughout the Nation on agitation against his release and questioning to law enforcement, therefore Rajya Sabha has passed the Juvenile Justice Bill 2014, this Act indeed makes the real balance between equality before the law and the equal protection of the laws. The amendments that took place in the 2015 Act in the above title.

The following main amendments was made :

  • The juvenile justice act has divided the world crime into 3 diverse genera (1) petty office (2) serious offence (3) Heinous offence.

  • For the age of 16 in the case of heinous crime offender treated as an adult, not J.J. protection shall be granted in the aforesaid case.

  • If any person compelling/ giving juvenile to swallow liquor or any intoxication liquor or drug, the punishment up to 7 years and penalty up to one lakh rupee, etc. 

                                                                   TOPIC 2 OF JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT





Openness & Transparency. —

  1. All Children's homes shall be open to visitors with the permission of the Officer-in-Charge and the Committee or Officer-in-Charge as the case may be, may consider appropriate to allow representatives of local self-government, voluntary organizations, social workers, researchers, medicos, academicians, prominent personalities, media and any other persons as visitors, as the Officer-in-Charge considers appropriate keeping in view the security, welfare and the interest of the children.

  2. The Officer-in-Charge of the home shall encourage active involvement of local community in improving the conditions in the homes, if, the members of the community want to serve the institution or want to contribute through their expertise.

  3. The Officer-in-Charge shall maintain a visitors book and the remarks of the visitors given therein shall be considered by the advisory inspecting authority.

  4. While visiting an institution, the visitors will not say or do anything that undermines the authority of the Officer-in-Charge or is in contravention of the Act or rules or impinges on the dignity of the children.

  5. The visitors may be allowed to visit observation homes and special homes with the permission of the competent authority.

Although section 94 of the JJ Act, 2015 lays down the legal provisions as to determination of age of the person in question, the Supreme Court in the case of Rishi Pal Singh Solanki v. State of U.P. and others (2021) laid down the following guidelines to be followed while determining the age-

  1. A claim of juvenility may be raised at any stage of a criminal proceeding, even after a final disposal of the case. A delay in raising the claim of juvenility cannot be a ground for rejection of such claim. It can also be raised for the first time before this Court. An application claiming juvenility could be made either before the Court or the JJ Board. - When the issue of juvenility arises before a Court, it would be under sub-section (2) and (3) of section 9 of the JJ Act, 2015 but when a person is brought before a Committee or JJ Board, section 94 of the JJ Act, 2015 applies. If an application is filed before the Court claiming juvenility, the provision of sub-section (2) of section 94 of the JJ Act, 2015 would have to be applied or read along with sub-section

  2. Of section 9 so as to seek evidence for the purpose of recording a finding stating the age of the person as nearly as may be. When an application claiming juvenility is made under section 94 of the JJ Act, 2015 before the JJ Board when the matter regarding the alleged commission of offence is pending before a Court, then the procedure contemplated under section 94 of the JJ Act, 2015 would apply. Under the said provision if the JJ Board has reasonable grounds for doubt regarding whether the person brought before it is a child or not, the Board shall undertake the process of age determination by seeking evidence and the age recorded by the JJ Board to be the age of the person so brought before it shall, for the purpose of the JJ Act, 2015, be deemed to be true age of that person. Hence the degree of proof required in such a proceeding before the JJ Board, when an application is filed seeking a claim of juvenility when the trial is before the concerned criminal court, is higher than when an inquiry is made by a court before which the case regarding the commission of the offence is pending (vide section 9 of the JJ Act, 2015).

  3. That when a claim for juvenility is raised, the burden is on the person raising the claim to satisfy the Court to discharge the initial burden. However, the documents mentioned in Rule 12(3)(a)(i), - (ii), and (iii) of the JJ Rules 2007 made under the JJ Act, 2000 or sub-section (2) of section 94 of JJ Act, 2015, shall be sufficient for prima facie satisfaction of the Court. On the basis of the aforesaid documents a presumption of juvenility may be raised.

  4. The said presumption is however not conclusive proof of the age of juvenility and the same may be rebutted by contra evidence let in by the opposite side.

  5. That the procedure of an inquiry by a Court is not the same thing as declaring the age of the person as a juvenile sought before the JJ Board when the case is pending for trial before the concerned criminal court. In case of an inquiry, the Court records a prima facie conclusion but when there is a determination of age as per sub-section (2) of section 94 of 2015 Act, a declaration is made on the basis of evidence. Also the age recorded by the JJ Board shall be deemed to be the true age of the person brought before it. Thus, the standard of proof in an inquiry is different from that required in a proceeding where the determination and declaration of the age of a person has to be made on the basis of evidence scrutinised and accepted only if worthy of such acceptance.

  6. That it is neither feasible nor desirable to lay down an abstract formula to determine the age of a person. It has to be on the basis of the material on record and on appreciation of evidence adduced by the parties in each case.

  7. The Court observed that a hyper- technical approach should not be adopted when evidence is adduced on behalf of the accused in support of the plea that he was a juvenile.

  8. If two views are possible on the same evidence, the court should lean in favour of holding the accused to be a juvenile in borderline cases. This is in order to ensure that the benefit of the JJ Act, 2015 is made applicable to the juvenile in conflict with law. At the same time, the Court should ensure that the JJ Act, 2015 is not misused by persons to escape punishment after having committed serious offences.

  9. That when the determination of age is on the basis of evidence such as school records, it is necessary that the same would have to be considered as per Section 35 of the Indian Evidence Act, in as much as any public or official document maintained in the discharge of official duty would have greater credibility than private documents.

  10. Any document which is in consonance with public documents, such as matriculation certificate, could be accepted by the Court or the JJ Board provided such public document is credible and authentic as per the provisions of the Indian Evidence Act viz., section 35 and other provisions.

  11. Ossification Test cannot be the sole criterion for age determination and a mechanical view regarding the age of a person cannot be adopted solely on the basis of medical opinion by radiological examination. Such evidence is not conclusive evidence but only a very useful guiding factor to be considered in the absence of documents mentioned in Section 94(2) of the JJ Act, 2015.

 32 Years of Accumulated Practice

The Firm got itself established back in 1988 and it has been in a consistent effort to provide quality service to the clients. Our firm believes in client satisfaction and it works according to the needs and demands of the same. It has got it's wings spread with a good pace with every passing decade.

The practice area of the firm is not limited, it actually has a multidimensional approach of working. 

We have pre-eminent experience in Criminal Law, Civil Law, Matrimonial Disputes, National Green Tribunal, Intellectual Property Rights Law, Arbitration, Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal, Media & Entertainment Law, Real Estate Law, National Company Law Tribunal, Cyber Law, Labor Law, Company & Corporate Law.
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